My Neverending Story

Some homeschool mom on Facebook just announced her family started their first week of school. When I read those words, my heart stopped. No summer-loving homeschool mom can cope with this type of behavior on Facebook. I’m not saying she’s on my blacklist or anything. I still love her. I’m sure she’s completely unaware of the spike in my blood pressure, the pounding in my temples, the itch in my feet to bolt.

All year long I wait for summer. I think about it like a child thinks about a great big cloud of cotton candy. I salivate in anticipation of those two hot months of brain sluggery. I do this every year regardless of the reality that all my plans are gonna get sucked up into the vortex of camps and playdates and VBSes… and I don’t know what all I’ve been doing. I just know all my lovely teacher-free weeks are almost gone! Summer is going, going… And then this perky, plan-aheader mom announces, “Hey guys, we’re starting school! We’re so excited! We love us some maths! We’re all up in that earth science business!”

Oh no she didn’t. She did not just start her school year in the middle of July. There goes my fantasy summer, fading into the Nothing. I feel the Gmork of lesson plans and tests and endless “do I have to do this exercise?” whining breathing down my neck. And I’m not ready!

childlikeempress

Save me! My summer world is crumbling!

My View As a Stay-At-Home Mom

I read Being a Stay-At-Home Parent Is a Luxury…for Your Spouse, and I could relate to a few of Chaunie Brusie’s thoughts.

I’ve felt I had to bake pies so that the world would know I’m not a worthless member of society.

Apple Pie By Len Rizzi (photographer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Realm and I chuckled over this one. Occasionally, he requests homemade goodies to take to work. His top pick is apple pie. I gather his coworkers like it, too. I love the compliments, but I never thought of it as my means of giving to society. I just like to cook, and I know what it’s like to get a treat amidst the monotony of the workday.

Well, of course, it would be a luxury to the spouse who works out of the home to have a partner who stays at home with the children. Someone who is always there to take care of the inevitable days of sickness, arrange the doctor’s appointments, make sure the cupboards are stocked, and [hey], to ensure that no one steals the FedEx package off of the porch.

At my house, the kids are like security guards with their checkpoints, investigating the mailbox and the front porch throughout the day. They take the letters and packages somewhere and promptly forget about them. It’s a wonder we find our bills and get our packages at all!

I realized, in a rush of amazement, that I had spent all of our marriage feeling just a tad bit guilty for being the one who “gets” to stay home…I realized, for the first time ever, that I didn’t have anything to prove.

The Petrie family of the Dick Van Dyke Show By CBS Television [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a keeper at home, have I felt like I had to prove something? Definitely. Logically, I know there is nothing more important than nourishing my family’s mind, heart, and spirit. Emotionally, though, this society has made its jabs at me, and I’ve been brought low for what I do. The pressure is real. The pressure is toxic. It helped me that I realized the negativity is not inherent in me. It also helped me to make a conscious decision to refuse the notion that it is good for any society to be condescending to a wife and mother for choosing to stay at home to be…a wife and mother. I hold, instead, to the godly belief that my most noble and praiseworthy service is to my family (Titus 2:3-5). On the Last Day as I face my Creator, this is one thing over which I will have no regrets or guilt.

There are many things we sacrifice to live on one income. We don’t do family Disney World vacations. In fact, my son went to DW for the first time last year through the generosity of good friends. (The girls haven’t been there at all. It’s amazing how happy they are anyway.) My kids don’t wear what’s trendy, and I don’t, either. Eating out is a treat, not a habit.

That being said, we are so, so blessed by God that I don’t have to work for a paycheck to help provide a roof, food, and clothing for our family. We have all these things and many, many other luxuries. Yet, I think the greatest luxury is the time we have to be together.

School Time!

Get out your paper and pencils—or iPads, as some schools have it. Time for a

POP QUIZ!

1. Which amendment in the Bill of Rights protects a citizen in criminal cases, specifying that the court cannot require or compel one to testify or bear witness against him or herself?

a. Amendment I
b. Amendment III
c. Amendment V
d. Amendment VII

2. A zebra’s stripes are its defense against lions and hyenas, two predators that have which fact in common?

a. Their females are predominantly 10% larger than their males.
b. They are both part of the cat family.
c. They can run up to 50 miles per hour.
d. They are color blind.

3. What is wn?

45 = 5/9 x wn

a. 81
b. 72
c. 40
d. 76

4. What prophet succeeded Elijah, asking that a double portion of Elijah’s spirit be upon him?

a. Noah
b. Elisha
c. Isaiah
d. Benhadad

5. Complete the sentence with the correct verb form and explanation.

“I wish I (was, were) finished with this quiz.”

a. was; singular verb form agrees with singular subject
b. were; ‘if’ or ‘wish’ changes verb to subjunctive mood
c. was; realistic wish places verb in indicative mood
d. It is a matter of hot debate.

 

The answers are:

1. c (That’s what “I plead the fifth” means.)
2. d (The zebra’s stripes were a dead giveaway, right?)
3. a (It took me forever to figure this one out. Math is not my friend.)
4. b (II Kings 2:9)
5. c (I thought it was ‘b’ until I researched it online. It’s a freebie if you went with ‘d.’)

Have you ever wondered what ends up knocking around in this brain of mine after a day of homeschooling? Well, there you have it.

And everyone needs their thirty minutes of aerobic exercise!

Concluding April

Hasn’t it been a really busy month? I’ve been moving at a dog paddle through much of it. I’m hoping to gain a better rhythm in May, though I don’t think it will be any less busy.

Blog Plan for May
On Mondays I’ll be posting miscellaneous writer thoughts. For Wednesdays I hope to post short stories in a collection I’m calling “Stories of the Valiant.”

Dragonfly Prince MS
Want to know how I’m coming along? Me too. I’ve been able to work on it just enough to add to the existing document. I had a five-page scene I’d cut out of the first draft. Now I know it’s necessary to the overall plot. I whittled it down and added it back in. (I’m so glad I saved it!) But now the story has netted three more pages. This displeases me. Greatly.

Heart
Heart (Photo credit: mozzercork)

Events
My sister, who is getting married in June, is staying with me. Her fiance, who lives here, said he’d fly her back home if she came for a visit. That was, um, three weeks ago. I think he likes her or something. Her bridal shower is this weekend, and then she will fly back. I don’t want her to leave. (I kinda sorta aided and abetted her fiance’s nefarious scheme to keep her here as long as he–we–could.)

We have about 20 days of school left. We are hitting the books hard. The kids are looking forward to the end of the school year, but I will not want to be done until I’ve accomplished one more item. We’ve studied China, Italy (with a sizable detour into Ancient Rome), and Brazil. We touched on Australia, followed by a whirlwind tour of the countries of Africa. I’d like to slip in a fun little virtual excursion to Ukraine just at the last. If I can get that in, I’ll be satisfied. Maybe they won’t notice we’re learning. I doubt it, though. They’ve grown wise to my tactics.

Research Spree
In May I hope to visit one of the settings for my sequel. EEEeee! (That’s excitement, in case you can’t tell.) If it works out, I’ll definitely want to blog about my experience.

May May surprise and delight you!